Digital technology is bringing about exciting changes across all areas of life, including in health and social care.
Health and care records that were previously kept on paper are now becoming electronic. We can see our own GP records and order repeat prescriptions online. And different organisations that provide our health and care can communicate with each other much more easily, improving our care and making it safer.
- Data Security and Protection Toolkit: completed by 64% of care homes
- Digital Social Care Record: used by 74% of care homes
- Proxy access: 32% of care homes have full access, 35% including medicines only access
We’re supporting our social care providers to take advantage of all this, so they can make care the best it can possibly be for people. Below, you can read about some of the ways we’re doing this.
What residents say:
“I think staff being able to be connected with the GP surgery through SystmOne and Proxy Access is great. This means that both the seniors and myself are informed when my Mum has an appointment. Everybody is kept in the loop, and it works like a triangle.”- KS, daughter of a care home resident and NHS nurse.
Keeping people’s information safe
Every care service holds information about the people it supports. We’re working with care providers in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) to make sure services are storing and using this information securely and that it’s properly protected. This is a legal requirement and it’s also vital for keeping people safe.
The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is a really helpful yearly self assessment that shows health and care organisations what they need to do to keep people’s information safe and protect their organisation from risk.
A national and local programme called Better Security, Better Care is providing support to social care providers, designed to improve data protection and cyber security in the care sector.
BLMK is offering free, expert advice on data protection arrangements to care homes, home care agencies, supported living and other care services for residents across the area. More details can be found on the DSPT website.
What our care services say:
“Now we have the DSPT, we have been able to demonstrate to the Care Quality Commission that we can securely store and protect patient data. This has helped us to strengthen our IT system and begin our digitalisation journey.” – Anda Marin, General Manager at Burlington Hall Care Home (read full Burlington Hall Care Home case study)
Introducing electronic social care records
Every care provider registered with health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is being encouraged to improve the quality of its care by going digital – and funding is available to make it happen in BLMK.
Changing from paper records to a digital social care record (DSCR) in care organisations can have a huge effect on the safety of care, as well as how well care works for those receiving it. It can also save care organisations time and money.
So, here in BLMK, we’re supporting our care organisations to make the move to digital records.
If you’re a CQC-registered provider, please complete a short survey and expression of interest form hosted by our colleagues at Central Bedfordshire Council on behalf of BLMK Integrated Care Board. This will mean we can gain funding to help make a digital social care record and other digital initiatives a reality for our provider organisations that successfully complete the funding process. It will also give us the information we need to plan for the future. In addition, we might be able to gain backdated funding for providers who’ve introduced a digital social care record since 1 April 2022.
So, if you’re an eligible organisation, don’t delay – fill in the survey and expression of interest now.
If you’re a CQC-registered care organisation in BLMK and you have questions about the DSCR, please email us or take a look at the DSCR Frequently Asked Questions. You can also read the latest guidance from the CQC on the benefits of Digital Social Record Systems for providers. All CQC-registered care homes can be found on the CQC website.
What our care services say:
“We know within an hour if there’s an incident where someone hasn’t had their medication. It’s also easier to track falls, see trends, and carry out lessons learnt reviews and root cause analysis. You can provide a safer service and know what’s happening in the community – I can’t underline enough the importance of that.” – Jason Drury, Managing Director at Prime Care Support (read full Prime Care case study)
“The care system flows a lot better because of the digital notes. The person-centred system allows for a more rounded picture of care, which supports with the day-to-day running of the nursing home. I can’t imagine going back to a paper system.” – Heidi Perret, Deputy Manager of Peter’s Place (read full Peter’s Place case study)
“Digital Social Care Records supported the staff to have better quality time with our residents. They have all the information in one place, and they can refer to it at any point of the day. For example when the staff take residents out in the community, it’s easy for them to record the activities straight away, and information won’t be lost or missed.” – Bouchra Izzar, Registered Manager of Houghton Regis Community Care Scheme (read full case study about how care homes use DSCR)
“It’s safer, it’s more robust and we wouldn’t go back any other way now. You’ve got more time because you’re quicker at actually recording, you have more time for the people that you’re supporting. So it’s a win-win all round.” – Chetna Satra, Registered Manager of The Limes (read full case study about how care homes use DSCR)
Online ordering increases safety in care homes
Ordering repeat medicines for people living in care homes is now safer, easier and quicker in homes that have a direct link to their residents’ GP records.
Instead of working with paper prescriptions, care homes can log in to a GP’s online system on a resident’s behalf, ordering repeat prescriptions in the same way patients more generally can do themselves.
To help our residents who might be struggling with ordering medication or being able to look at useful information on their records they would normally be able to see, we have developed something called Proxy Access. This is secure and can only be used with the correct approval.
It means, for example, care homes can order medications at any time of day or night, leaving them free to concentrate on residents when most needed. They can also leave notes for the GP on the system, improving communication about the resident’s healthcare needs.
Importantly, as online ordering is based on the up-to-date details in the GP record, it’s more accurate. Medicines that are no longer needed can be avoided, making it safer for residents.
GPs and their practice staff, meanwhile, save time and effort as they no longer have to deal with paper prescriptions. And care homes using the online system are able to show health and care regulator the Care Quality Commission how they’ve increased resident safety and information security – important in helping them meet legal and ratings requirements.
What our care services say:
The DiSC team has supported Burlington Hall Care Home to utilise Proxy Access, a system which allows staff to carry out safer, easier, and quicker ordering of repeat medicines on behalf of care home residents. General Manager Anda Marin has praised the easy-to-use system for increasing communication with GPs regarding repeat prescriptions, allowing staff to see if there has been a medication review ensuring repeat ordering is safer, more efficient and cost effective. Through digitalising this service, staff can also access records and order medications at any time of the day.
“Proxy Access makes the process of ordering repeat medication on behalf of the resident hassle-free. There are fewer risks and issues associated with the re-ordering of medication, and it’s given us more flexibility because we can order medication at any time or day.” – Kamal Benipal, Registered Manager of Belle Vue Care Home (read full case study about how care homes use Proxy Access)
“It’s increased productivity and made things much easier for everybody. It’s increased communication and relationships with the GP surgery, and it reduces time wastage, medication errors and it staff stress levels. It’s a much more person-centred approach than it ever used to be, and it makes the residents feel much more involved in their care. If you care about the residents, it’s definitely the thing to have.” – Claire Croucher, Registered Manager of Precious Homes (read full case study about how care homes use Proxy Access)
You can find out more about what we’re doing by clicking on each of the links below. For more information on the programme, or any of our projects, please email the team.